(Convention of States)
There is growing opposition to the Convention of States project all across this land of ours. This project is one which deserves serious consideration as it has the potential to recreate the ‘Land of the Free” that has been eroded so severely in recent years. It is not a change, it is a buttress that plugs some rather large holes the original founders with all their genius simply could not foresee. So why the increasing opposition?
In the state of West Virginia passage of the resolution calling for an Article V convention was all but assured when it just fell apart. Senator Trump the Chair of the Judiciary committee in the senate that was the final step to having it presented to the floor for debate was one of the sponsors of the resolution. Then he suddenly decided to vote against it. Thus it failed in the senate after passing the house with a super majority.
I spoke with Senator Trump this morning on this issue. I identified myself as a blogger and asked the question concerning his reversal on the Article V. He told me that he became concerned with some of the things he had been told by the opponents and wanted further study of the issues involved. He also informed me that the passage of the Balanced Budget Amendment bill was a factor. He Informed me that he has received a large packet of information from Barbara Thomas, the current state director of the project for Convention of States and I sent him some other items. He stated that he was willing to be convinced. He even said that he did have some concerns about the federal overreach and ways to put an end to them. I was left with the definite impression that the issue will be revisited in the next session. I also got the impression that he is a concerned citizen and senator that has an open mind.
I would like to explore some of the reasons legislators have expressed to me in private conversations. As the state director of this organization, it was my job to get to know many of the legislators in our state. I took my volunteer job very seriously and was able to establish some good relationships. One of the concerns was the scope of the proposed convention. Even with the conscientious consideration given to that scope and the limiting of said scope it was felt to be too broad. The “runaway convention” kept showing up despite several factors that belied that possibility. I decided to look deeper. I learned, after the fact, that some legislators feared that amendments might come back to haunt them as state legislators. Term limits for one example.
Then there arose a suspicion that the national organization had a hidden agenda. This also might well be spurious, to be honest. What would any “hidden agenda” have to do with this project? The entire process is controlled by the state legislators. Once the resolution is presented to Congress, the national organization would have no say what-so-ever In the process. However, I had more than one legislator point to the somewhat Orwellian practices of that organization. They knew that the organization had taken over each states facebook pages to the point of refusing the state organization from even posting to that page. There is no law which even hints that private organizations must follow laws expressly intended for government. The 10th amendment. for instance does not and should not apply to private corporations. They must be allowed to operate in their own best interest, one thing the Article V convention seeks to reinforce.
Allow me to elaborate. When I resigned, I informed several legislators of my intention and that it was for reasons of health only. I attempted to keep them informed of our intention for a smooth transfer of that responsibility. Our state organization held conference calls each week to discuss our strategy and in one of those calls we discussed the person that would take the reigns. I personally asked our state Coalitions Director if she wanted the job and she said she didn’t think she would be the best choice and reiterated that during one of those calls for the entire team. One well qualified gentleman volunteered and was accepted by acclimation of the team. I asked him to apply and assumed it was a done deal. Then National stepped in and simply appointed the lady that didn’t want it. They went further and appointed a man that has proven to be extremely ineffective in the past. This man is an avowed republican that is not trusted even by the state party, according to a couple of county chairmen of my acquaintance and this is a non-partisan issue. This man was made the state legislative liaison supplanting the one we had who had become quite effective. He had not officially applied for that position, to my knowledge, any more than the new state director. This was seen as the national organization, that has no knowledge of our state’s body politic, declaring that “Big Brother knows best.” Some legislators felt this was ample reason for not trusting that organization. No, it doesn’t make sense to me, but that was and, perhaps, still is the perception.
Of course we must consider the strictly political opposition. Liberals simply don’t want the interference with their socialist ideals any such Article V convention would present. I must inform you that we had some Democrats support and even co-sponsor the resolution, but I am not sure they fit the mold of the modern day ‘liberal’.
Next is the passage of the resolution for a Balanced Budget Amendment Article V Convention by the legislature. This was a primary source of supporters in both houses which may well cost the COS project supporters in the next legislative session. We are in desperate need of a well thought out, effective educational plan and campaign for our legislators and the people of our state. This is something I have been developing for about a year now and am going to attempt to implement it in the near future with a few savvy acquaintances.
I am a staunch supporter and believer in the the crying need for a significant Article V convention; however, I fear that if there isn’t more recognition of each state’s Body Politic by both the national organization and their respective state organizations it will not happen soon.